In a nutshell: Reuters on Wednesday announced a new fact-checking initiative tasked with identifying misinformation on social media. Described as an extension of its existing media verification efforts, the new unit within Reuters’ editorial department will identify false or misleading content posted on Facebook and Instagram and publish findings on its blog.
Case studies already on the blog highlight the claim at hand, state whether they are true or false and cite evidence to support the verdict.
Facebook already has an established fact-checking program in place but some believe the company could be doing more. Perhaps this will satisfy those critics.
Jess April, director of global partnerships at Reuters, said misinformation is a growing issue that impacts society daily. “It’s a responsibility for news organizations and platforms to halt the spread of false news,” she added.
The effort is being funded directly by Facebook, the publication notes, and will be overseen by Hazel Baker, global head of UGC newsgathering at Reuters. April tells TechCrunch that she can’t disclose any more about the terms of the financial agreement but did confirm that Facebook is paying for the service.
According to TechCrunch, the unit will initially have just two fact-checking staffers working out of Washington D.C. and two in Mexico City. That seems small although Baker said the unit could grow over time. I suspect that, after the US presidential election, we could see an expansion, should the partnership prove fruitful.
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